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A tale of two coaches

Texas Tech unsure which Ole Miss offense will show up

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Posted: Friday December 18, 1998 10:52 PM

  Cutcliffe was known for having explosive offenses during his tenure at Tennessee AP

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Texas Tech coaches don't know which Mississipppi offense they'll face in the Independence Bowl: the one left by departed coach Tommy Tuberville or the one being brought in by new coach David Cutcliffe.

Tuberville guided Ole Miss to a 6-5 record, then became Auburn's coach on November 28. Cutcliffe, the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, was hired as the replacement last Thursday and will make his debut in the December 31 game in Shreveport, Louisiana.

But when Cutcliffe arrives, will he keep the playbook the team has used all season or will he start breaking in his schemes?

"We'll prepare for a little bit of both," Tech defensive coordinator John Goodner said Monday. "It'll be a little bit different for us, but we look forward to the challenge."

Goodner said coaches will break down film from both teams while putting together a scouting report and game plan. He said the players shouldn't have to do extra work.

"We'll present it to the kids the same way [as any game plan]," Goodner said.

Goodner is guessing Cutcliffe will begin using at least some of the plays that helped the No. 1 Volunteers go 12-0 and earn a berth in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 2 Florida State. Goodner said one of the game films he and his assistants will watch is from Tennessee's 52-17 victory over Tech in last year's season opener.

Cutcliffe has yet to name a defensive coordinator, leaving Tech's offensive coaches wondering whether they'll be facing anything different.

The Red Raiders (7-4) are excited to return to a bowl after a one-year absence. Tech voluntarily withdrew from postseason consideration last year as part of a self-imposed punishment for NCAA rules violations. Sanctions handed down earlier this year did not include postseason bans.

"Our seniors last year ... gave up a bowl game to try to get everything past and behind us," Goodner said. "That's been one of the topics since we started working in the summer. We went to four straight bowls before last year. We're happy to be back in the bowl picture."

Three of Tech's four losses this year came to ranked teams. The Red Raiders had a chance to win each in the final minutes.

"I think our guys are looking forward to having an opportunity to plan another game," Goodner said. "Our kids and our coaching staff would like to show people we've got a good football team."

 
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